Q: What is the average student/teacher/aide ratio?
A: In the elementary school, there are one teacher and one certified aide for every 12 children, or 12:1:1. We follow the same protocol in the middle and high school of having one teacher and one certified aide for every 12 children.
Q: How experienced is the school in working with special needs children?
A: The Biondi Education Center is a state-approved special education school certified by the Middle States Association of College and Schools. It is recognized as a National Association of Special Education Teachers School of Excellence. All teachers, clinicians, support staff, and aides are highly trained and experienced in working with students with special needs. What’s more, Biondi is part of Rising Ground, an award-winning human services organization with more than 55 programs to help children, adults, and families rise above adversity.
Q: How does one apply for admission at the Biondi?
A: You cannot apply directly to Biondi. First, the Committee on Special Education (CSE) has to determine that your child has a learning disability, an emotional disorder, autism, and/or other health impairments. Once that is determined, you can ask for the Biondi Education Center by name during your CSE meeting. In New York City, the Central Base Support Team will refer your child to us. In other school districts, the CSE will make the referral. Remember, it is your choice and your choice alone as to which school you pick for your child.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Biondi is a New York State accredited non-public special education school, and the cost is covered by your local school board. There are NO tuition costs to parents. Ancillary costs, such as uniforms, are minor. The elementary school provides a nutritious lunch at no cost to the family. Families of students attending the middle and high school can apply for free and reduced-price meals.
Q: Where is the Biondi Education Center located?
A: We operate two campuses. The Biondi Elementary School is at 1529 Williamsbridge Road, an intimate setting in the Westchester Square section of The Bronx. The Biondi Middle and High School is right on the border of The Bronx at 463 Hawthorne Avenue, Yonkers, New York.
Q: Do students wear uniforms?
A: Yes. Students are required to wear uniforms—a Biondi shirt and khaki bottoms— throughout the 12-month school year. Uniforms are available for purchase at Biondi.
Q: How long is the school year?
A: The Biondi Education Center is on a 12-month school year. The year starts at the beginning of July, and lasts through June. There is a three-week break in August, as well as vacation times throughout the year. A copy of the 2018-2019 school calendar is available here.
Q: What about snow days?
A: We close Biondi Elementary School when New York City schools are closed. The Biondi Middle and High School follows the school closings of Yonkers Public Schools.
Q: What type of transportation is provided to students?
A: Your local school district will arrange transportation by bus at no cost for your child to Biondi.
Q: How can parents get involved in the school?
A: We encourage parents to get actively involved in their children’s education. There are many opportunities for parent-teacher-counselor meeting. The Biondi Elementary School has a Parents Teacher Association and invites parents to attend many different programs and performances. At the Middle and High School, parents are invited to celebrations and performances as well. Parents also play an important role as volunteers at the Biondi Education Center.
Q: Can students live at the school?
A: For children 12 years and older who are struggling to live safely at home, our Residential Treatment Center can provide the 24/7 support they need while they pursue their education. Students live in small group cottages close to the Biondi Middle and High School on our scenic 33-acre Hudson River campus.